Avoiding Hand Dermatitis

Hand dermatitis is one of the most common problems encountered in dermatology with a prevalence possibly as high as 50% hand dermatitisor greater in certain occupations. The dis­comfort associated with hand der­matitis frequently results in a de­creased quality of life. In fact, hand dermatitis can be debilitating for many years.

Dermatitis (or eczema) is inflam­mation of the skin, characterized by itchy (pruritic), red, weeping skin with vesicles and/or crusty patches. The risk factors for hand dermatitis include chemical expo­sures, frequent handwashing, and wet-work environments contribut­ing to a higher prevalence in specif­ic occupations including healthcare professionals, machinists, hair­dressers, and food industry em­ployees. Continue reading

Relief from Itching

Itching Itch or pruritus has been defined as an unpleasant sensation that elicits the desire or reflex to scratch.  Itch is the most common symptom in dermatology.  It is also the most common skin complaint in people over the age of 65 years and it can have a major impact on an individual’s quality of life.  Itch has many similarities with pain, but the responses to itch and pain differ since pain evokes a withdrawal response and itch evokes a scratch response.  We all know that the itch sensation can be reduced by the painful sensation caused by scratching.  Studies have also shown that various other types of pain stimuli can also reduce itch.  In some ways, itch and pain are regarded as closely related, however, itch and pain are different sensations that are processed by distinct sets of neurons.  Continue reading